More Cloned Kitties

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by brneyedgrl80, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. brneyedgrl80

    brneyedgrl80 Member

    May 25, 2004
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    This is pretty cool!

    Refined cloning process gets whisker-close on cats

    Dan Vergano
    USA Today
    Aug. 5, 2004 08:11 AM

    Tabouli and Baba Ganoush might look like ordinary kittens.

    But the 7-week-old females are unique in two ways: They are clones of a 1-year-old female Bengal cat named Tahini.

    And they represent a refinement in cloning technology for Genetic Savings & Clone, an aspiring pet-cloning company based in Sausalito, Calif.

    Tahini belongs to the son of GSC chief Lou Hawthorne. The resemblance between cat and clones is "startling" in both appearance and behavior, Hawthorne says.

    That's noteworthy because the first cloned cat, CC, a calico born in 2001, is different from its genetic original in both respects. Hawthorne credits an improved cloning process.

    Cloning fuses a hollowed-out egg cell with a donor cell, typically a skin cell, from the creature to be cloned. The resulting embryo is implanted into a surrogate mother. On average, fewer than 5 percent of attempts result in the live birth of a clone - a creature with genes identical to the donor's.

    GSC licensed a process called "chromatin transfer" that better exposes the donor cell's genetic material - chromatin - to the egg cell, says GSC's chief scientist, Irina Polejaeva. The nuclear membrane of the donor cell is dissolved to remove skin cell proteins, leaving the basic genetic material behind and more accessible to the egg cell.

    This kind of cloning has a better than 8 percent success rate, its proponents say. The exposed chromatin appears to produce cloned embryos more like normal ones and uses fewer donor eggs to produce a clone.

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